International Relations Center

Right Web - Exposing the architecture of power that's changing our world

Profiles
Feedback
Subscribe to Email Updates

Neocons and Liberal Hawks Converge on Counterinsurgency

As the United States boosts its forces in Afghanistan, hawks in both Republican and Democratic circles are championing "small wars" theory and counterinsurgency doctrine as guides for the U.S. military.

Some Strategists Cast Doubt on Afghan War Rationale

Some analysts argue that the Obama administration’s battle against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan is misplaced and will spur the group to become further entrenched in Pakistan.

Tehran Rebuffs U.S. Overtures

Iran’s dismissive response to U.S. attempts at engagement will likely isolate it even further, much to the detriment of Middle East stability.

Neocon Ideologues Launch New Foreign Policy Group

The newly founded Foreign Policy Initiative, led by the same neocon writers who set up the Project for the New American Century, supports a “surge” in Afghanistan and stresses “threats” from countries like Russia and China.

From "Axis of Evil" to "Happy New Year"

President Obama issued well wishes to Iran on that country’s New Years celebration last Friday, striking a dramatically different tone to that adopted by his predecessor.

Bipartisan Experts Urge "Partnership" with Russia

A new report makes a series of recommendations to the new administration for finding common ground with Russia, after the U.S.-Russia relationship reached a new post-Cold War low last summer.

Military Dominance in Mideast a Costly Myth?

The United States might not be the dominant power in the Middle East that the Obama administration seems to presume, which could have far reaching consequences on its actions in the region.

Vetting Nominees, Hampering Policy?

Will the lengthy and intrusive vetting process for nominees hamper the Obama’s administration ability to confront a number of foreign policy issues?

Islamist Governments Not the Enemy, Say Mideast Experts

U.S. policy must end its misguided fear of Islamist parties and concentrate on human rights, experts assert in open letter to Obama.

Whither Af-Pak?

The near simultaneous reappointment of a sacked Supreme Court judge and the signing of an agreement to allow Sharia courts in certain areas have created a bewildering judicial divide in Pakistan. In this battle of the courts, however, there is a real opportunity for President Obama to take a new approach toward Pakistan and depart from the disastrous path cut by President George W. Bush and his predecessors. But unless President Obama listens to the people of Pakistan and recognizes the currents of change in this traumatized country, the administration’s strategy of linking Pakistan and Afghan policy—the so-called Af-Pak plan—could spark a spiraling conflict with devastating, far-reaching repercussions.

U.S.-Iranian Engagement: When and How?

On Norouz, the day when Iranians celebrate the coming of spring and the new Iranian calendar year, President Barack Obama put the United States on a path to a fresh relationship with Iran. But given the upcoming Iranian presidential elections in June, the real question for the U.S. administration is when and how to further engage Iran. One thing is clear, the two countries have a number of shared concerns, which could provide them with a new basis for relations.

President Obama: A Realist Interventionist?

President Barack Obama might turn out to be a foreign policy pragmatist, eschewing the grand strategies and big-label crusades that inspire the minds of Washington’s cognoscenti. After eight years of the Bush administration’s foreign policy fantasies, the notion of an Obama administration muddling through foreign policy choices should be welcomed, even by those who will inevitably be disappointed when Obama fails to live up to their high expectations.

Neoconservatism in a New Era

With change coming to Washington in the form of a new president who campaigned on a slate of foreign policies at loggerheads with the agenda championed by President George W. Bush, a burning question among many pundits is, “Whither the neocons?” Out of power and out of fashion, what exactly will be their post-Bush agenda? Prominent thinkers Joshua Muravchik and Michael Ledeen weigh in on how neocons should move forward and what some of their priorities might be in the future.

Cheney: Master Bureaucrat

Cheney has from the beginning served as the most aggressive hawk among the top administration leadership. His public pronouncements on the Iraq War have often gone farther than Bush himself was willing to. With secrecy and skill, Cheney used the Vice President’s office to unite the administration around shared goals of an aggressively nationalist foreign policy, a disdain for diplomacy, and an utterly unfettered executive power in time of war, as Barton Gellman documents in the recent biography Angler.

Green Security?

Neoconservatives, despite their appreciable influence on President George W. Bush’s administration, have never numbered very many people. By forming tactical alliances and associations with groups like evangelical Christians and hardline nationalists to promote their policy goals, neocons became a powerful faction in Washington, D.C., especially after the 9/11 attacks. Now, with their influence clearly on the wane, some neocons seem to be trying to forge what might be their most unexpected alliance yet—with environmentalists.

Will Obama’s Change Come to Poor Corners of Kenya?

Wracked by the devastation wrought in the violent aftermath of their own presidential election a year ago, Kenyans across the country’s tribal and religious divisions have rejoiced in Barack Obama’s presidential win in the United States. But the euphoria inspired by the obvious symbolism of the election of a U.S. president with Kenyan heritage is heavily tempered by the burdens of everyday life and the question of whether Obama has the will and wherewithal to stop the excesses of the U.S.-led “war on terror” in East Africa.

The Economic Crisis: Will Money Trump Ideology?

The steep reversal of financial fortune for one of the most generous donors to hawkish causes could likely impact the ability of those causes to carry out their work. The fortune of casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, a key backer of groups like Freedom’s Watch and the Likud agenda in Israel, has taken a hit from the global economic meltdown. Will megadonors like Adelson turn their attention to salvaging their business empires at the expense of the political agendas dear to their hearts?

Losing Pakistan’s Hearts and Minds—and the “War on Terror”

Pakistan is facing one of the worst internal crises in its history. The turmoil—intimately tied to the Bush administration's "war on terror"—is pushing Pakistani citizens against the tenuous U.S.-Pakistani alliance. The volatility of the relationship was underscored recently when members of U.S. and Pakistani forces exchanged fire. As U.S. strategists focus their military campaign on cross-border strikes against Taliban elements in Pakistani territory, they seem to be neglecting the plight of the average Pakistani. Without the hearts and minds of the population, Washington stands no chance of winning its war on terror on any front.

 

Foreign Policy Initiative
The Foreign Policy Initiative, an advocacy group founded by the same neocon ideologues who brought us the Project for the New American Century, used its inaugural event to praise President Obama’s decision to increase military personnel in Afghanistan.

Richard Cheney
The former VP has not been shy in defending the Bush administration’s record and attacking the new president.

Lynne Cheney
A staunch defender of the policies pursued by her husband while he was VP, Lynne Cheney recently completed abiography of James Madison.

Elizabeth Cheney
The former VP’s daughter and Bush advisor on Mideast policy, Elizabeth Cheney made headlines recently when Slate.com discovered her senior thesis on presidential war powers, which shows an uncanny resemblance to efforts by her father to consolidate executive powers.

Peter Wehner
The former head of strategic initiatives in the Bush White House, Wehner has used his perch at the neocon Ethics and Public Policy Center to defend the Bush record and issue warnings about the direction of the new president.

Steven J. Rosen
One of the key pundits involved in the effort to overturn the nomination of Charles Freeman to a top intelligence post, Rosen recently sued his former employer AIPAC for defamation in connection to his federal indictment for allegedly passing U.S. secrets to Israel.

Xe (Blackwater Worldwide)
Recently rechristened as Xe, the Blackwater private security company—notorious for its work in Iraq—claims to be shifting its focus to training and logistics, including training pro athletes in self-defense.

Christopher DeMuth
DeMuth served as director of the American Enterprise Institute for more than 20 years before stepping down early this year.

Erik Prince
After six of his company’s contractors were indicted last December for killing civilians in Iraq, Prince argued that Blackwater was a company driven by patriotic duty and woefully misunderstood.

Dennis Ross
A career diplomat with close ties to neoconservatives, Ross was recently given an appointment in the Obama administration, which includes advising on Iran policy.

John Yoo
Newly released Justice Department memos shed light on the controversial opinions issued by Yoo regarding the use of the military on U.S. soil to fight the war on terror.

Richard M. Scaife
Beset by a string of marital and legal problems, the iconic financier of the American Right has been forced to cut back his charitable giving in recent years.

Scaife Foundations
From Cold War anti-communism to the “war on terror,” the Scaife Foundations have been a major patron of U.S. militarism for decades.

Right Web | www.rightweb.irc-online.org
1310 Broadway, Suite 201, Somerville, MA  02144 | pra@publiceye.org | 617.666.5300

Copyright © 1998-2009, IRC-Political Research Associates. All rights reserved.